Many families are rightly concerned about the dangers to small children during the Halloween season. However, older children and teens also face several risks during this time of years:
1) Burn injuries. Children of all ages can burn themselves on candle decorations, dry ice used to decorate a punch bowl, jack o’ lanterns, and other Halloween accessories. Thin, flammable costumes only add to the dangers. Even makeup and face painting can cause skin reactions and burns if the chemicals used are harsh enough. Ensure that teens and children know good safety tips and ensure that children use face-appropriate make up. Keep a fire extinguisher near candles and jack o’ lanterns or use battery-powered lighting this Halloween.
2) Near drownings. Bobbing for apples and late-night dips in mild weather can pose a hazard. Ensure that your pool is properly secured if you will be having children and teens at your home. Ensure that any Halloween activities involving water – such as bobbing for apples – are correctly supervised.
3) Car accidents. Teens can easily get into accidents when swerving to avoid trick or treaters. Encourage your teen driver to practice good, defensive driving skills, especially on the days leading up to Halloween. Follow good driving rules yourself.
4) Pedestrian accidents. Children often get so excited about Halloween that they may dart out into road areas without watching, especially on Halloween night. Some Halloween costumes make it hard for children to see oncoming cars. For all these reasons, it is important to watch for children and trick or treaters around Halloween and be prepared to stop suddenly.
5) Skin injuries. Skin injuries are quite common during Halloween and can be caused by anything from reactions to makeup to injuries cause by sharp accessories. It’s a good idea to go over special effect makeup with your teens and children, to make sure that they are choosing safe options. Limiting or banning hard accessories that can cause accidents is also a good idea.
6) Choking. Children can easily choke on larger pieces of candy or on small accessories. Even badly-fitted vampire teeth or mouth accessories can become a hazard. Again, go over everyone’s costume choices to ensure that everyone in your family has a safer Halloween.
7) Eye injuries. Teens are often tempted by “special effect” contact lenses, but it is important to always order these from qualified eye doctors, who can show your teen the safe way to wear these accessories. Avoid buying special effect contact lenses from dollar stores or discount stores for less – these lenses may not be as safe.